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Old January 28, 2010, 10:33 PM   #3
Capt Charlie
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Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Steubenville, OH
Posts: 4,304
I have a monocular made by Night Owl Optics. That and most of the stuff available to the public are 1st generation, Russian made. They're fair, but they have some major drawbacks.

For tactical purposes, I think the biggest drawback is their susceptibility to bright lights. A Surefire aimed at one will put it out of commission, permanently, in a heartbeat. The second in a hand-held unit is that you have one hand tied up holding it up to your eye, along with a very limited field of view (most of these units are either 3X or 4X magnification).

On top of that, these will NOT work in total darkness. They work well inside a building when you use an IR light source (most have them built in), but contrary to what a lot of people think, the IR source is NOT invisible. The dull red glow in a dark room makes a perfect target.

IMO, the only ones worthwhile are 3rd generation binoculars, but they're so pricey that most of us couldn't touch one.

They are fun for checking out critters & such, but I think the tactical application for most of this stuff is seriously limited.
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